As I walked through the school it was clear that it was just like any other school in the area, the walls covered with student paintings illustrating one theme or another. There were absolutely no in your face religious themes, just mentions of things like Muslim politeness or Muslim behavior on posters with the list of the same sort of rules you see in any other school. First impressions were that it was exactly the sort of school where any kid could get a great education, and the facilities were generally superior to those in the elementary schools where I teach.
I must say, however, that I have never seen a school cafeteria quite like the one at Granada. The food was fresh cooked, healthy, and had plenty of stuff that kids like, including pizza and a wide assortment of ice cream. Beverages included the usual assortment plus a wide range of coffees and energy drinks. The kids and their parents both seemed happy, though some of the prices reminded me more of a mall than a village school.
With all the American paranoia about the madrassas out there creating a bunch of future terrorists, people should all visit the Granada Muslim school to see some of the reality at least here in America. The kids at the school are being taught to become fine citizens with good educations and solid academic skills. It is at exactly what a school all to be.
Though I am no fan of organized religion, to put it mildly, I was very comfortable at this religious school and got no sense at all that these kids were somehow being brainwashed with values are foreign to my American ideals. And seeing all these kids of various religions and ethnicities enjoying a day of playing chess together makes me wish there were more schools like this.